Terminally-Ill Former Federal Prosecutor Sues VRBO After 2 Daughters Die In House Fire At Expensive
A dying father lost his 19 and 21-year-old daughter after they died at a 'firetrap' $8,000-a-week Hamptons getaway.
Lewis Wiener, a former chair of the US Courts of Federal Claims, filed a lawsuit with Brooklyn Federal Court against travel company VRBO, Homeaway.com, and property owners Pamela and Peter Miller, claiming they failed to maintain his family's safety when a fire broke out on August 3, the Daily Mail reported.
The fire killed his daughters Lindsay, 19, and Jillian, 21.
Wiener, 60, was previously diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and was taking what was likely the family's last summer trip when the tragedies struck.
Weiner, his wife, and their 23-year-old son Zachary were able to escape when the fire broke out at the $1.8 million home.
The Wiener family is seeking $75,000 for emotional distress and an unspecified amount in economic and medical damages, which will be determined at trial.
'Rather than fond memories of a week's vacation on Long Island's east end, the Wiener family is left with a nightmare from which they cannot wake,' the lawsuit states.
'Defendants' greed, corner-cutting, and willful failure to give any thought to the safety of the occupants of the premises led to the deaths of Jillian Rose Wiener and her sister Lindsay Eliza Wiener.'
Authorities say the fire broke out around 3:30 am at the 3 Spring Lane home, near Koyack Bay on Aug. 3. It was later determined by a fire marshal that the home lacked functioning smoke or carbon monoxide alarms. Even though HomeAway.com said the house was well equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.
The lawsuit also alleges that the home didn't have proper rental permits and that the newly installed outdoor kitchen was not inspected by 'a qualified electrician or other professional to ensure that it complied with local, state, and national safety standards.'
The owners now face 58 building code charges due to the incident. But the family's attorneys have also placed blame on Southampton Town for allowing a culture of illegal rental properties in the neighborhood, making them responsible for 'creating, through deliberate indifference, a known hazard of countless rental homes within the Town of Southampton including the home in question, which the respondent knew or should have known were being rented without having passed the requisite safety inspections.,' attorney Andres Alonso wrote in the suit.
Authorities are investigating the tragedy and have yet to learn what caused the fire.
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